Ohio's Craft Beer Industry Generated $2.7 Billion Last Year and Continues Growing

Oct 5, 2017

Breweries like Thirsty Dog in Akron are finding they can boast taste, quality and personal connection when it comes to competing against mass market brewers.
Credit KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

A new report finds that Ohio’s craft beer industry generated $2.7 billion last year – and more breweries could be popping up soon.

The annual economic impact report from the Brewers Association says Ohio generated about 4 percent of the nation’s $67.8 billion craft beer industry. And the state has 88 breweries on tap for the future.

Jamie Bogner is founder of Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine, and says that microbrewers continue to grow in popularity over mass market products because of the experience and flavor of craft beer.

“If you can buy a product that’s made locally from people that you can meet -- and they make a high-quality and flavorful product – they’ll pay more. That’s, I think, less of a limiting factor than the efficiencies that Budweiser can create. I think they have to have those efficiencies because price is the one thing they can compete on.

“Those chain restaurants are closing at a very significant rate. Neighborhood bars -- that just sold other people’s products -- are closing at a record rate. Breweries are operating in a replacement way as desires from consumers have continued to shift. So, I don’t know what that saturation point is, [but] it kind of depends on how all of those other sectors behave and how consumers are attracted or not attracted to them.”

Bogner notes that the saturation point for craft breweries in Germany and Belgium is about one per 11,000 people -- a number that the U-S has not yet reached.